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Thread: What makes a great soprano?

  1. #1
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    Oct 2012
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    Default What makes a great soprano?

    It cannot be volume, as most decent ukes are almost unbearably loud (to my wife at least). So what is it?

  2. #2
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    For any instrument, it's a combination of sound (resonance, vibration, sustain) and construction (materials and construction itself) vs user-feel and playability. These are emotional factors in and of themselves, and some people also connect with visual character, historical significance, a particular maker, what's popular, price, etc. Much of it is somewhat subjective, including the choice of soprano over concert or tenor. So it really comes down to what you enjoy and what works for you and the music you intend to create.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2014
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    For great sound I'd say light construction of traditional materials (mahogany or koa). For fun I'd say something more durable, something you can take around and bang on. It's good to have both.

  4. #4
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    I think it's too much determined by the player but my answer regardless of all the physical factors would be "the one you play all the time"...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by billten View Post
    I think it's too much determined by the player but my answer regardless of all the physical factors would be "the one you play all the time"...
    I agree. I think it is the one that is in tune with your musical journey at that point in time.

    I played a vintage Silvertone soprano for six months and loved it. I was able to find nuances and coloration of the songs I strummed that made it a joy. It went everywhere with me.

    Then, I got my Opio and played it for about six months. Wow, what a ukulele! It was like riding a Thoroughbred horse instead of a nag. It made me sound like a real ukulele player. I played it all the time and really advanced my technique.

    But, cold weather hit and I didn't want to take it out and about in cold/hot/humidified/unhumidified environments, so I got an OXK soprano. Loved it from the moment I played it. I could really make it bark or whisper. It was perfectly in balance with my beginning fingerstyle playing.

    Now, I grab my Bruko maple and have been enjoying going through Wilfred Welti's solo ukulele pdf that was just posted here. The Bruko is perfect for playing it at this time. I have to play with a bit more care due to the higher tension Worth Browns, but it is a good thing to be more careful with fingerings and placement.

    I love all the aforementioned ukuleles - I played the Silvertone today, in fact. But, there is always that one that connects a bit more.
    Last edited by actadh; 12-28-2015 at 03:17 PM.
    - Laura

    Martin, KoAloha, Brueko, Mele, Mainland, Outdoor, Kala, Enya, Harmony, Tempo, Globe, Shima, Vega, Silvertone, Kay, Luna, Vorson, Drewek, Zither Heaven, First Act

  6. #6
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    May 2015
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    Numero Uno: Playability. No uke, soprano or otherwise, can be considered a good one unless it is supremely playable. And to my way of seeing things, playability is a direct result of quality of build, with neck set the most critical factor. If the neck is set right all else can be accommodated. Be it mahogany or koa or other wood matters not for playability.......it's how the wood is put together that matters. Secondarily, tone and sustain are qualities found in a good soprano. I've found that tone is quite subjective and sustain is better in older builds rather than new........perhaps developing over time as the cuts of wood settle down to being one resonant whole. My two cents worth on a good soprano.........
    Knowin' where you're goin' is mostly knowin' where you have been.
    Buc-A-Roo You Tube

  7. #7

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    Years of vocal training and she can hit all the high notes.

  8. #8
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    May 2015
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    Smile

    The more we practice with our sopranos, the greater our sopranos become. The more we take care our sopranos, the greater our sopranos become. The more we customize our sopranos, the greater our sopranos become.

  9. #9
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    Everyone may have different preferences....but like in any Ukulele, tone, intonation, playability and comfort are main factors
    Making music is a gift in itself, and when you can share it ....it is your gift to others

  10. #10
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    Mar 2012
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    Excellent intonation - something very hard to find, especially on sopranos.

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